Walter Y. Oi (1929-2013)

Walter Y. Oi The economics community is deeply saddened by the passing of Walter Y. Oi, 1995 Distinguished Fellow of the Association, on December 24, 2013. Walter was the Elmer B. Milliman Professor of Economics at the University of Rochester, where he served on the faculty since 1967, and made lasting contributions to both labor economics and industrial organization. He was inspirational in his wit, insights, humor and remarkable ability to live with a disability. Always affable and congenial, Professor Oi will be sorely missed by his students, colleagues, and many admirers throughout our profession.

Walter Oi Named Fellow of the American Economic Association

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Fall 2015 JEP

November 2015 AEJ: Policy

November 2015 AEJ: Micro

November 2015 AER

October 2015 AEJ: Macro

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In the News:

The Boston Globe covered an article in the American Economic Review about the difficulty of crafting effective environmental regulations. In Clearing the Air? The Effects of Gasoline Content Regulation on Air Quality, authors Maximilian Auffhammer and Ryan Kellogg study a measure to reduce ozone pollution by restricting volatile organic chemical (VOC) emissions. They find that the regulation gave businesses so much flexibility that they could continue emitting the most harmful VOCs and still be in compliance by reducing other VOCs.

Quartz covered a recent piece in the Journal of Economic Perspectives about the declining quality of government survey data. In Household Surveys in Crisis, the authors highlight several problems in household surveys, including low response rates and measurement error. They call for increased use of administrative data (like payment records from the Food Stamp Program and the Social Security Administration) to complement and verify survey results.

The Upshot blog cited a recent article in the American Economic Review. In Health Insurance for "Humans": Information Frictions, Plan Choice, and Consumer Welfare, the authors find that employees at a large firm with various health insurance plans had numerous misconceptions about the offered plans. These misconceptions were found to significantly distort some employees' choices about which plan to take up.

The Christian Science Monitor covered a paper from the American Economic Journal: Economic Policy about the effects of early school start times on student achievement. In A's from Zzzz's? The Causal Effect of School Start Time on the Academic Achievement of Adolescents, the authors study cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy, which features random assignment of course schedules, mandatory attendance, and uniform grading standards. They find that students assigned to a course starting before 8 AM on a given day of the week had significantly worse grades in all courses taken that day.

Bloomberg covered a July article in the American Economic Review by Heidi Williams, who was recently named a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. In "Do Firms Underinvest in Long-Term Research? Evidence from Cancer Clinical Trials," Williams and her coauthors find evidence that cancer pharmaceutical research is distorted toward projects with short-term payoffs. See our highlight of the paper here.

A recent study on the relationship between new roads and traffic from the American Economic Review was cited in The Atlantic. In The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from US Cities, authors Gilles Duration and Matthew Turner find that new lanes on interstate highways and other major roads are quickly filled with new cars and trucks and do not tend to reduce congestion. They conclude that congestion pricing, rather than roadway construction, is the most promising tool for combating persistent traffic.

Three articles on the future of automation and labor markets from last month's Journal of Economic Perspectives symposium were featured on the Free Exchange Blog in the Economist.

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